Edmonton to be hub of Pope’s journey of healing, hope and reconciliation

13 May 2022

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Pope Francis will make a pastoral visit to Canada from July 24-29, 2022.

The Holy Father will visit three cities in Canada: Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit.

“The Holy Father is coming to meet with Indigenous Peoples of this land on a pilgrimage of healing, reconciliation and hope.” – Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, the national coordinator of the Pope’s visit.

“This will be the fourth papal journey to Canada, and the first since Saint John Paul II’s visit in 2002.”

“We are delighted to welcome Pope Francis among us, and are very grateful to him for accepting the invitation of the Indigenous Peoples, the Canadian Bishops, and the federal government to visit us in our common homeland.”

Holy Father’s health limits his travel during visit

Given the vast landscape of our country, the limited time period for the visit and considering the health of the 85 year-old Pontiff, the Vatican announced May 13 that the locations will limit travel for the Holy Father while still allowing an opportunity for both intimate and public encounters, drawing on participation from all regions of the country.

“It is clear that the Vatican has determined that his itinerary has to unfold within very narrow limits. This arises from the Holy Father’s age and the sad fact that he is severely limited in his mobility. In fact, recent photos have shown him now using a wheelchair,” Archbishop Smith said.

“The Pope’s visit will provide an opportunity for him to listen and dialogue with Indigenous Peoples on this land, to express his heartfelt closeness, and to address the impact of residential schools in Canada.”

The papal visit will also provide an opportunity for the shepherd of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to connect with the Catholic community in Canada.

“For this visit, we are carrying forward the theme used during the March-April 2022 delegation to Rome, ‘Walking Together’, which is a reminder to us all of the ongoing journey towards healing and reconciliation, a pathway into the future along which all Canadians have a shared responsibility to walk.”

The Pope’s visit will provide an opportunity for him to listen and dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, to express his heartfelt closeness and to address the impact of residential schools in Canada. Archbishop Smith added:

“There is no single step that can eliminate the pain felt by residential school survivors or the victims of intergenerational trauma stemming from residential schools, but we pray that this Papal Visit will help to bring about greater healing for the victims and their families. The Bishops of Canada are committed to the journey.”

Specific programming and events will be confirmed approximately six weeks prior to the Holy Father’s arrival.

Visit papalvisit.ca (EN) or visitepapale.ca (FR) for more information and to stay updated on the latest developments.

The Archbishop will make brief comments from 8 to 8:30 a.m. and will take questions. Watch the News Conference live: youtu.be/lTyn89fwbjE

Please continue to pray for the health of Pope Francis and for all those engaged in the ongoing healing and reconciliation journey.